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Farewell To Imperialism? A Critical Sociological Study Of Empire

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Chapter Summary

Imperialism is dead because a centered and territorialized sovereignty has been replaced with a decentered and deterritorialized form of sovereignty with a new logic and structure of rule. Although Hardt and Negri depart from a traditional Marxist political line, they followed Rosa Luxemburgs theory of realization of capital in their conceptualization of Empire. The change in the forces of production increases labour productivity and overall production on the one hand, and decreases real wages as well as the rate of absorption of wage labourers into workforce on the other. This undermines the purchasing power of wage labourer as a consumer, and consequently generates a disproportion between production and consumption. For Lenin, imperialism was an extension of capitalism in its historical trajectory where a few monopoly capitalists dominate the entire world economy. In capitalist imperialism, economic power dominates the working class very impersonally and indirectly through market mechanisms.

Keywords: capitalism; Hardt; imperialism; Lenin; Negri; Rosa Luxemburg

10.1163/ej.9789004184145.i-320.31
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